from Peril as Architectural Enrichment


A flower
swallows a quarrel—
drop between petals like a seamstress into fabric, through
organic pleats of unending enclosure.
Go down and on. Allow invisibility. Fall.


The deepest terrace, skylighted beneath pistil and anther, might be an opaque rose basket, as in the case of anemones and tulips. Grandmother was seen swinging through a field of knee-high blue forget-me-nots to the orchard, the sun dazed on the blue cornflowers on her dress spreading over everything held and spilled.
Later I’ll want to go for a run.


A wild briar in a hedgerow opens the same way; its scenting miniature dishes show up delicately among the cuts—cuts (the hedger splits a tree trunk so it cracks and topples, thereby making the boundary of his agriculture impenetrable and lawful; reliably shoots
grow from the cuts, but he doesn’t agree it’s intentional. Whereas “may-grow” is a trick.
Only innocents, such as housewives and fairies, believe
a bundle of twigs plugged into the hedge may grow).


A flower swallows by means of a spasm
jelly bone
unthinking the muscular.


Roll inside into the pollen chamber, view the
pink-cream curdle of gender. Here the time is always ripe for
Breathe in, so privately, the pink.
Traces of blood, fragrance rinsed with rain, and nectaries
hidden deeply, away from evaporation.


Acquiring pollen is sedulous. The lilting of the flower
may substitute human movement, murmur like a photo
of a white-domed dovecot on a Victorian estate.
You can mop up the half-light daily.
Going straight from the living room makes absolute sense when
there is provision for plant material in the


Catastrophe reasserts itself—slams to a macro out
shatters mathematics
pitches compass points
as if sheer movement has meaning.

No best face on it. Any arc—a red toadstool or fetish.

Quick, fix a windbreak, venture into the garden walking: along the affirmative, beside black-green arboreal thickness,
and through.

Up and into the skylight, such radial distances rolling,
foregrounded by cellular creaking,

spill urgently into and partner
lap to lap on the underside
with primrose petal or water.



Company switches kingdoms

pollinates aphasia.



Only light to assist us in relation to our sentence. Sore in the throat is the creed that would end limbo.

Not romantic. Cow’s parsley, for example, uses very old rays, draws in what is now blind.

Can curl on oneself, anticlockwise north of the equator, one choice in this green, bright democracy. Vining—remember the medieval dread of nature, it keeps on coming toward one. Run through it.



A rhizome underground, out of sight, an unbridled shape, an adventitious bud out to the side and preferring the horizontal. You see that tactic in bearded iris besides. Along and beneath is the first waywardness, a step in the dark where you come upon a history of blood and chlorophyll.

When a potato arrives on the harvesting machine too ripe, it smells of animals from last night, sticky and glazed, makes one terrified of frost.

The unzipped fly under the bridge in the dampest field; overplump touching its own prickles. Horned, bulbous. If you must, plow memory under and pretend it was a stolen crop.

—The animal in you pursuing botanical prudence, taking the feeling of home down into a taproot, a collection of enlivening prepositions your starch store.

Counter-circulating belts carry a potato up from the ground, because it rolls whereas dirt clods are more angular and fall through. Miraculous syntax of transport that reveals the sky and ends in a bag.



A loss, an absence of shape, a change of weather. Begin over. Re-state a very low horizon and a high empty sky. Repeat it by and by and make a wish to write something beautiful.

Luckily, reflection does help scissor meaning, the way the floor of the Taj Mahal subdivides recursively
to accommodate multiples of emptiness during a life, separates the sublime from the beautiful, circular domes over square rooms

and then in a sidestep breaks the planes and hurls the minarets
            the rectangular garden pool—sky and all.

                       Up goes a splash! Volume rigid with oxygen.

Fronting all that doubled longing is coming upon a clump of trees on a ridge, their mildly diagonal boughs are mother’s skirts near us, and thus a landscape forms a fresh nest. Greet it or fall down.

Anyhow, you’ll see the surface dematerialize and change with the colors of the sky until the architecture on shore is no larger than a toy. Brio brought back, inverted
            and immaterial, to the garden from which it had been removed.


Hazel White grew up on farms in the southwest of England and has written about landscape in newspaper columns, national and international magazines, and many books. Five other poems from the manuscript Peril as Architectural Enrichment are forthcoming in the Denver Quarterly. She lives in San Francisco, is a member of Kelsey Street Press.